One of the most recycled ideas in PR - the body parts insured for millions ruse - resurfaced this week in the guise of Beth Anderson, babyfood taster at Cow and Gate. In an insult to we connoisseurs of bogus publicity, Beth’s trained tastebuds - apparently vital to future generations of mewlers and pukers - haven’t even been insured yet, though discussions “are under way”.
This strikes all of us at P&F as a bit feeble. Getting tastebud insurance is peasy, surely? Otherwise Eleanor Freeman (Graze, £3m) Keith Fisher (Bpex, £1m) David Jackson (Peter’s Food, £1m) Julie Booth (New York Bakery Co, £5m) Sanjay Sigat (Authentic Foods, £1m) and topping them all, Gennaro Pelliccia (Costa, £10m), wouldn’t have done it in the last few years, would they? In fact, if you add in noses, hands, legs, etc, there’s barely anyone in the food industry who hasn’t got part of themselves covered. But still the media fall for it.
Thus Karoline (with a K), not averse to digging up the rotting corpse of a long-buried horse and beating life back into it, senses an opportunity for agency self-promotion. “Titty,” she booms during our Monday morning meeting (held on Tuesday afternoon, this week), “we’ll insure your chest. How much is it worth to the company?” Though horrified, I blush prettily, but according to an industry leaders’ survey, hanging on to the value of such tangible assets is the unspoken but much pondered issue that troubles the managements of almost all the UK’s PR agencies.
As it’s World Toilet Day, I spend the rest of the afternoon keeping out of Karoline’s sight in there (she uses the Gents as there are no men in our office), wondering if it’s where my career is heading.